How New Zealand has thwarted its opportunity to halt climate change

New Zealand’s is already three decades behind its rising emissions.

But 30 years ago, we were virtually carbon neutral.

We were presented with an opportunity to get it right, but policy mistakes, squandered opportunities and growing climate skepticism have led us to miss this boat altogether.

Here’s just a gloomier statistic: on a per capita basis, our gross carbon dioxide emissions are below the global average.

The science journalist Veronika Meduna gave a feature to North & South magazine looking at the recent story of climate change (where she deals with the politics and the related politicians) and explained why we’ve dipped back from programs that could have made a difference.

We have also had the opportunity to spend billions of dollars to pay other countries to cut emissions as a price for our failure to cut our emissions.

Climate variability and change

Climate variability includes all the variations in the climate that last longer than individual weather events, (wikipedia)

North–South divide in England

In England, the term North–South divide refers to the cultural, economic, and social differences between: Southern England: the South-East and South-West, (wikipedia)

Global North and Global South

The concept of Global North and Global South is used to describe a grouping of countries along socio-economic and political characteristics. (wikipedia)

Geography of New Zealand

New Zealand is an island country located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, near the centre of the water hemisphere. It consists of a large number of islands, estimated around 700, (wikipedia)

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Ministry for the Environment (New Zealand)

The Ministry for the Environment is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the New Zealand Government on policies and issues affecting the environment, (wikipedia)